I am pleased to see that the NAACP is weighing in on the YouTube video of an off-duty Erie police officer that we shared with you last week.
NAACP President Benjamin Jealous wants the Department of Justice to launch an investigation into the Erie Bureau of Police's handling of the incident. The call for a federal probe is the latest fallout from the YouTube video of off-duty Erie police Patrolman James Cousins II joking in a bar about a Black man who was the victim of a recent Erie homicide and about the victim's mother and her reaction at the crime scene. [SOURCE]
"We have grave concerns about the chief because he has not treated this officer in the way one would expect," said Jealous, "We would expect that he (the officer) would be suspended without pay. We would suspect that they (police) would call on somebody from the outside to investigate. That's why we've gone to the DOJ."During the interview, Jealous decried Cousins' behavior and called for his resignation.
Andre Horton, the president of the local NAACP chapter, said he plans to hold a news conference Tuesday to discuss the video and the police investigation into it. He also said he expects national representatives from the NAACP to join him in Erie later this week.
"That video is just despicable," Horton said. "And the thing is, is he just caught this time? Had he not been caught on video we'd just be going on as if we had no problems. When we all know we do."Villagers, I picked up on this video because the Erie cop in the video talks about his use of taser guns in the past. I'm convinced that police officers are not following the use of force continuum. Officer Cousins appears to be totally untrained and insensitive to his responsibility when it comes to using a taser or to being a compassionate human being.
NAACP President Ben Jealous issued the following call to action:
Working with the NAACP, you can help change this situation:
First, e-mail Erie Mayor Joe Sinnott and ask him to order an immediate independent investigation into the practices and policies of the Erie police department and to establish an independent civilian review board to investigate citizen complaints.
Second, ask your member of Congress to co-sponsor legislation to provide long-needed regulation of harsh and careless police actions throughout the United States, the End Racial Profiling Act and the Law Enforcement Trust and Integrity Act. These bills are designed to curb outrages like the New Year's Day shooting of unarmed Oscar Grant by transit police in Oakland; the police shooting of Robert Tolan on his front lawn in Bellaire, Texas; and the questionable death of high school football player Billie Joe Johnson, killed in what was described as a "routine traffic stop" in Lucedale, Mississippi. NAACP branches are grappling with each of these cases.
The Law Enforcement Trust and Integrity Act also includes provisions to assist local law enforcement agencies in doing more effective screening of candidates for law enforcement jobs before they are given the power to use deadly force and then during in-service reviews. It also supports the creation of local police accountability and review boards with subpoena power, independent investigatory power, and staffing and other resources needed to provide local community oversight of their law enforcement officers.
While most police officers are courageous public servants, continued police abuses are harming our communities and eroding the trust needed to both prevent and solve crimes. Take action now and help us do something about it.
A lot to chew on villagers. What say u?